This is a late 2 month review on the progress developing this blog. In the past couple of weeks, I was finishing off my last days at my job, and I'm now preparing to move on to a new position as Director of UX at a software development company.
February was about getting the site up as quickly as possible and bootstrapping by experimenting with some content creation to fill out the sections. March was about assessing where the implementation had gone, focussing on the things that work, and stripping out the things that didn't work. So here's where we netted out:
- The theme design was fussy and got in the way of the content. It's been stripped down to the bare essentials.
- Part of minimizing the theme design was to simplify the header so that the content moved higher up the page. The navigation header now acts as a sort of breadcrumb once you've drilled down beneath the home page.
- The IA changed slightly. I found that while I like the format of the 3x2 and 3x3 mosaics of screenshots I do on featured designs, I post more of the non-featured designs daily when I'm surfing the web. So I've made the default Design page a roll-up of both featured and non-featured, and simply tack a "star badge" on the items that have that special mosaic of screenshots. I do the same thing on the home page, showing the featured designs and interfaces with this red badge.
- Stripped out rating from the entries. Not sure yet if this is the right decision, but I find ratings to be problematic if they don't provide some incentive back to the individual. The only thing I can provide at the moment is recommendations for highest rated entries, but nothing more sophisticated than that without custom programming (which I cannot do).
- The submissions process I had come up with wasn't working for me, so I have decided that all the designs and interfaces that make it to those main sections will be only those that I create. To submit designs and interfaces, registered users will now use the links to post notebook entries that are tagged either "design" or "interface." I will feature the best of those submissions. Anonymous posting is now only permitted in comments.
- RSS feeds were beefed up with images.
- Feedburner newsletter was set up.
In the April-May timeframe I'll be mainly focusing on featured interfaces a bit more, including doing a little research on a feature I'm going to add to deepen the usefulness of that section.